Orange, California has earned a dubious dintinction
‘Top 10 Cities’ lists and parasite forecasts from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) are great tools for veterinary practices to keep clients informed about the heartworm threat in their community—and encourage year-round protection.1
The city of Orange in Southern California currently has the highest prevalence of canine heartworm disease of anywhere in the country, according to the most recent ‘Top 10 Cities’ heartworm report from CAPC.
This report, released periodically, highlights and ranks the 10 metropolitan U.S. cities that have experienced the highest percentage increase in heartworm-positive tests.
According to the current report, released in September 2019, St. Paul, Minnesota currently ranks second, with Fontana, California; Cleveland, Ohio; and Omaha, Nebraska rounding out the top five.
Craig Prior, BVSC, CVJ, a CAPC board member and past president, says the organization has seen a 20% rise in cases of heartworm disease nationally in the past five years.
His advice to pet owners: “When we’re seeing these spikes in the prevalence rates in places like D.C. and other areas where you normally won’t see large numbers of heartworms, we realize that there’s something going on here that you need to be aware of and that you need to talk to your veterinarian because your dog has got the potential to be exposed.”
To help veterinarians and pet owners monitor heartworm prevalence in their community, CAPC also periodically provides a county-by-county heartworm disease forecast at petdiseasealerts.org.2
As of the latest 30-day nationwide canine heartworm disease forecast map, parts of the upper northwest, midcentral and southeastern U.S. are at risk.
“It’s our hope that the monthly CAPC Top 10 Cities Heartworm Report—along with our 30-day parasite forecast maps—will prompt important conversations between pet owners and their veterinarian about heartworm protection,” says CAPC CEO Chris Carpenter, DVM. “The increasing prevalence of heartworm disease across the U.S. is why CAPC recommends year-round heartworm preventives and annual testing for all dogs and cats—no matter where they live or travel.”
1. Companion Animal Parasite Council. The top 10 cities for heartworm disease. CAPC website. https://www.petsandparasites.org/images/uploads/documents/20190909_CAPC_Top_Ten_Cities_September.pdf. Published September 2019. Accessed March 18, 2020.
2. 30-Day parasite forecast map. Pet Disease Alerts website: https://petdiseasealerts.org/forecast-map/#/. Updated March 9, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2020.